Thursday, July 21, 2011

Division III Coaching Legend George Acker Dies

Former Kalamazoo College tennis coach George Acker was "Coach" to everyone who knew him, whether they played tennis or not. After suffering a stroke last week, the 82-year-old Acker died yesterday in Kalamazoo. The upcoming USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships will be an opportunity for all of us, not just in Kalamazoo, but throughout the college and junior tennis community, to reflect on his extraordinary contributions to the sport.

Pam Shebest, the former Kalamazoo Gazette staff writer who covered tennis there for over 25 years, has written a remarkable obituary for today's edition of the newspaper.

Former Kalamazoo tournament director Timon Corwin, who succeeded Acker as coach at Kalamazoo College, called him the "John Wooden of college tennis," which captures perfectly the respect and admiration felt by everyone who knew him.

He will be missed.